A Hialeah woman accused of absentee ballot fraud will serve one-year probation as part of a plea deal.
Deisy Penton de Cabrera, 58, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of violating a county ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to possess more than two ballots belonging to other voters, the Miami Herald reported.
An additional felony charge was dropped. While on probation, she cannot participate in politics.
"We conducted a thorough investigation and we're satisfied with the negotiated resolution of this case," Assistant State Attorney David Schulson said.
"At the end of the day, she wants to put this behind her, she's already been through enough and we believe that she has a right now to just go and live her life in peace," attorney Robin Pimentel said.
Cabrera was arrested in August 2012 after detectives with the Public Corruption Investigations Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department began surveillance on her.
Detectives spotted her collecting absentee ballots from numerous residences in Hialeah and later submitted a small stack of absentee ballot request forms to the Miami-Dade Elections Department in Doral, police said.
After she was seen at a post office putting absentee ballots in a mail service slot, detectives found a total of 19 ballots in the slot, police said.
Detectives also followed Cabrera as she stopped at assisted living facilities and a nursing home, where she allegedly filled out a ballot for an elderly woman who was unresponsive with a brain tumor.
When she was pulled over by police, she had 12 absentee ballots which were signed, sealed and appeared completed, police said.
Police said Cabrera illegally collected at least 31 absentee ballots for last year's Aug. 14 primary election.
Her lawyer read a statement in court saying Cabrera had unfairly maligned in the media while political players behind voter fraud escaped punishment.
"It's clear that you guys wanted to try this case in the public," attorney Eric Castillo told reporters.
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